Simply put:

  • Affiliates:
    anyone with a website, email list or blog.
  • Merchants:
    Any company or individual selling a product or service.
  • The Process:
    A company pays money for someone with a website to advertise a product or service on their site.
  • Affiliate Network:
    This is the middleman / broker who manages a number of Merchants and Affiliates and brings the two together.